Earliest ever Federweisser harvest takes place

22 August, 2018

The official start of the harvest for Federweisser, a partially fermented, yeasty wine, in Lörzweiler, Germany begun on 6 August, the earliest start date on record.

The main harvest for varieties such as Müller Thurgau or Frühburgunder is also anticipated to start nationwide at the end of August. For the first time, this applies to the northernmost German wine region Saale-Unstrut.

Later ripening varieties such as Riesling and Spätburgunder are expected to be ready for picking in mid-September, rather than the beginning of October. This development was initiated by the warmest April since records began, which led to an early flowering. The ripening was further accelerated by the hot summer, resulting in vine development which is currently three weeks ahead of average.

Despite the eight-week drought, the older vines are still in ‘good’ health according to Wines of Germany, however irrigation has been used for wines on shallow soils and in young vineyards.

Wines of Germany also said producers are hoping for widespread, abundant rain as soon as possible with dry late summer weather at the time of the main harvest.

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